Bobby Bowden, who is best known for coaching the Florida State University (FSU) Seminoles football team from 1976 to 2009, has been diagnosed with a terminal health condition, according to him and his family.
On Wednesday, the 91-year-old legendary football coach told Tallahassee Democrat, “I’ve always tried to serve God’s purpose for my life, on and off the field, and I am prepared for what is to come. My wife Ann and our family have been life’s greatest blessing.”
However, Bowden, who is considered one of the greatest college football coaches of all time, did not specify his condition. He said, “I am at peace.”
During his coaching stint with the FSU Seminoles, Bowden earned over 350 victories, helping the team win national championships in 1993 and 1999.
Florida State president John Thrasher said in a statement that he is “deeply saddened” about the news of Bowden’s diagnosis.
He said, “Coach Bowden built a football dynasty and raised the national profile of Florida State University, and he did it with dignity, class and a sense of humor.”
“Although his accomplishments on the field are unmatched, his legacy will go far beyond football. His faith and family have always come first, and he is an incredible role model for his players and fans alike. He is beloved by the FSU family,” Thrasher added.
David Coburn, FSU Director of Athletics, said Bowden “has meant everything to Florida State athletics and so much to college football in general.”
“He has influenced so many people beyond just the players he coached, and the staff who had the privilege of working with him. He is a part of the heart and soul of FSU, but it goes beyond even that — he is a big part of the history of the game,” Coburn said.
“Anyone who has had the opportunity to be around Coach Bowden knows what it is like to know a person who has his priorities in the right order, who loves life and values integrity and honor,” he added.
In October, Bowden’s son Tommy revealed that his father had “just went through a battle with COVID-19 and God just wasn’t ready to take me home yet to be with him,” according to the Associated Press.
After getting discharged from the hospital, Bowden said, “Most of you know I’m 91 years old and the fight was tough but thanks to the help of Dr. Michael Forsthoefel, and the support of Ann and all my children, I beat it.” The story appeared on PEOPLE.